To cleanse the palate, let me continue my sterling tradition of posts about movie franchises I’ve never seen and never will see by asking why Ace is so grumpy about this one. This is … precisely what you’d expect from a Peter Jackson production of Tolkien, right? Dragons and wizards and elves and dwarves and a mystical quest to find/rescue something or other plus lots of inventive make-up and lots of CGI. That’s “The Hobbit,” no? You already know the plot so there’s no worries there. You know you’ll like the actors because you’ve already paid a trillion dollars collectively to watch them in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. My sense of “The Hobbit” is that it probably operates vis-a-vis LOTR the way “Casino” operates vis-a-vis “GoodFellas”: It’s an inferior film but that’s only because the other one was perfect, and it’s still loads of fun in its own right because the personnel involved can really do no wrong. Am I right? What’s missing here that you were hoping to see? Legolas shooting flaming arrows at a dinosaur or something? I’m sure Jackson’s FX team can punch that up in post-production and slip it in there before the big opening.